The following sermon was delivered by a traditional cleric.
Vidi Aquam egredientem de Templo, a latere dextro
I saw water coming from the right side of the Temple.
These words can be found in the book of the prophet Ezekiel, in the Old Testament.
At that time, the Temple of Jerusalem had been destroyed and the people of God reduced to captivity in Babylon. So God wanted to console His people, and to give them a message of hope through the mouth of His prophet.
So Ezekiel was brought to the top of a mountain and there he had a vision… he saw the New Temple of God, and a source of water coming from the right side.
This was a promise of salvation. A promise that God would not forsake His people… one day they would see the New Temple, a Temple in which would dwell the fullness of the divinity. The real Temple of God, from whose right side would come forth a source of living waters for the salvation of mankind.
But this prophecy remained a mystery for many and many centuries. The Jews, they bowed their heads before these words with respect, but with no understanding. If we asked: what does this prophecy mean? They would not be able to answer.
But the key to open the sense of these divine words is given to us in the New Testament, by Saint John the apostle. He, whose purity made him able to penetrate the secrets of God Himself. He, who dared to repose his head upon the Heart of Our Lord, and to listen to the divine melody of His heartbeat. He is the one who is going to explain to us the meaning of this prophecy.
And it could not be different. It had to be Saint John, because He was the only apostle to follow the Master until the end, to follow Our Lord up to the Calvary. When all the others abandoned Our Lord, he was the only one to remain faithful, and to stand with the Virgin Mary at the foot of the Cross. And it was there, at the top of the mountain, that Saint John had a vision. And he saw:
“One of the soldiers opened the side of Jesus with a sword, and there came out blood and water. “
This is the same vision that Ezekiel had, many centuries before the death of Our Lord. But what Ezekiel saw in figure, John could see in reality. Because the Temple is Christ Himself, in which dwells the fullness of the divinity; and his Heart is the source, the fountain of living waters, which was opened for our salvation.
So the promise of Salvation that God had made to His people through the mouth of the prophet Ezekiel was accomplished on that day: when Jesus Christ gave His own life for us, and from His side, from his Heart, came out a source of living waters, of healing waters: waters that can heal our wounds, waters that can clean our sins, waters that can make us pure again.
But, we could say that is not enough that this source of life was opened for us. It is not enough, if these waters do not touch us.
Et omnes ad quos pervenit aqua ista salvi facti sunt.
Only those who are touched by these waters can be saved.
Listen to what says Our Lord:
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”.
So if we are thirsty for salvation, if we long for eternal life, we have to come to him and drink the living waters which come from his right side. We need, we must have contact with these living waters, if we want to be alive ourselves. And these waters symbolize here the merits of the Passion and death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
So it is not enough for our salvation that Christ died on the Cross. It is not enough, if we do not have contact with this mystery.
Our Lord by his life and death acquired an immense treasure of merits, of spiritual graces for each one of us. But if we do not come to have participation in this treasure, it cannot help us.
And we come to participation in the infinite treasure of the merits of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ through the sacraments. They are the seven fountains of living waters which flow from the Heart of Jesus for the salvation of mankind.
So every time we receive with devotion one of the sacraments of the Church, we are being touched by the living waters of the Heart of Jesus. Every time we receive one of the sacraments, we participate in the treasure of the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and we become spiritually richer. And this is the only richness that really matters.
But the Heart of Our Lord is not only a source, through which we can receive the blessings of God. His Heart is also the gate, through which we can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
You might remember that when Adam and Eve were expelled from paradise, God placed at the gates, one angel with a sword to protect the way that led to the tree of Life. But if this first path was closed by the sword, a second path would be opened for us, also by the sword.
That is the reason why Christ wanted His Heart to be pierced, to be opened: so we could have a path towards eternal life opened for us.
And here we have the same logic as before: it is not enough to have a path opened for us. But we should follow it.
Saint Peter says that Our Lord gave us the example, so we could follow his footsteps. Yes, we should follow Our Lord in his life, if we want to follow him in His glory. We should imitate, try reproduce in our own life the life of Jesus Christ. And that is why we bear the name of Christians: we should be like another Christ. Because if we do not imitate Jesus Christ, we are just pretending to be his disciples.
So we have to look more into the Gospel, and see how Our Lord lived, how he acted, how he spoke, and try to do the same, according to our vocation. So before doing something, we should ask ourselves: Would Jesus do that? Would He speak like that? What would He do in this situation? Because if we do not try to imitate Jesus Christ, we are just pretending to be his disciples.
So, if we want to follow the path which leads to eternal life, we should follow our Master, and imitate His examples. We have to conform our hearts to his Sacred Heart. This is the work of our sanctification, the most important business that we have to take care of.
Like in time of Noah, when God saved only those who entered through the door of the arch, so now, in the same way, only those who enter through the door of the Heart of Jesus, will be saved.
Only those who follow Him will be able to sing Alleluia on the Last day!
So on this Feast of the Sacred Heart, let us stand in spirit with Mary and John at the foot of the Cross. Let us remain there, looking at the side of Our Lord opened by the sword, looking at this fountain of life, from which flow living waters, and let us place ourselves there, underneath this divine source, to be touched by these waters, in order to receive the pardon of our sins, the healing of our wounds, the strength to be holy, and the salvation of our souls.
Yes, we saw living waters coming from the right side of the Savior.
And only those who are touched by these waters can be saved.
They shall sing eternally ALLELUIA!
So… let these waters touch you. Amen.